Smerconish leaving WPHT for SiriusXM

Michael Smerconish hopes Sirius will be "a better platform . . . free of these pressures to toe the line."
Michael Smerconish hopes Sirius will be "a better platform . . . free of these pressures to toe the line."
Posted: March 08, 2013

Michael Smerconish, a longtime big talker on WPHT-AM (1210), is leaving terrestrial radio. On April 15, he's taking The Michael Smerconish Show over to SiriusXM. He'll hold forth from 9 a.m. to noon on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S., channel 24, on weekday mornings, and will be rebroadcast 6-9 p.m.

He's also leaving his 80-plus market syndication, just as Talkers mag rated the audience for Smerconish - Inquirer columnist, lawyer, MSNBC host, progressive rock maven, author - in the Top 10 of talk.

So why satellite radio? P.O.T.U.S. bills itself as "nonpartisan," which may be a clue. "The appeal," Smerconish says, "is that I can spread my wings and do an issue-oriented, nonideological show." A Philly radio voice since he debuted on WWDB in 1992, he's been a radio guy fulltime since 2003. Once largely associated with conservative opinion, he has supported President Obama, and he left the Republican Party in 2010. Such independence may be what lured him away.

Smerconish calls Sirius "a better platform for the kind of product I want to do. I hope to have a place on the dial that's free of these pressures to toe the line."

That rings true to Tom Taylor, author of Tom Taylor Now, a radio newsletter.

"Michael hasn't been a comfortable fit for a long time now," Taylor says. "He hasn't seen himself in strict conservative mode for a while, and it may have been uncomfortable for [WPHT owner] CBS, too." WPHT didn't return a call for comment.

Smerconish pal and public relations exec Larry Ceisler says, "PHT went out of its way to make Michael more comfortable, but I think it was hard. Satellite radio has a demographic that may appreciate him more."

"The industry needs to grow the tent," Smerconish says. "There are parallels between the industry and the Republican Party in that regard."


Contact John Timpane at 215-854-4406 or jt@phillynews.com, or on Twitter, @jtimpane.

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